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on 5 October 2007
This book is a profound, thought-provoking and heart-rendingly honest exploration of war. Hedges does not hesitate to admit the lure of conflict, describing it as an 'addiction' which has affected him for much of his career. See this book through. If you ever spared a thought for anyone lost in conflict, or for those returning to 'normal' life after being caught up in a war, then take the time to read this.

Hedges explores the realities of conflict, of media reporting during a war, of divided communities and displaced ethic groups in societies that are torn apart. He manages to provide broad perspectives on many of these issues, whilst allowing individual's stories to be heard. Many of his illustrations are from the Balkans conflict, but he draws on his extensive experience as a reporter in the front line from dozens of conflicts around the globe.

Yes - much of this book is personal. But it is far from indulgent. This is an excellent piece of writing, and the personal experience is what gives it such credibility and gravity. His credentials are outstanding, and he deserves to be listened to. If you are in any doubt (especially after reading the other solitary review on this site), then just search for Hedges on Amazon's sister site in the USA ( and see what over 100 reviewers have to say...
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on 24 March 2010
Could you enjoy war? Could you even be addicted to it, and never want it to end? In reality, the answer is yes, but our current ideologies about war (random episodes of senseless violence) make it hard to understand why. Not only does war have a special political and economic interest for many, it can even seem fun and exciting. A veteran war correspondent, Hedges makes us understand why.
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I can't say that I 'enjoyed' this book because the subject matter is so tough, but I did find this book enormously provocative, thoughtful and insightful. It made me think about war in new and expanded ways becasue it asks big questions and explores big issues. These issues and questions are illustrated by stories that come from Hedges' personal experience and so this is a very connected, alive and embodied book. Each story adds something to the bigger theme and brings a question or idea into sharper focus at the same time as humanising it.

Some of the issues that I was struck by include: The addictive nature of war; the was the myths that are created to drive war and how those myths differ so enormously from the reality; how the parties engaged in war destroy their own cultures before trying to destroy those of the 'enemy'; the importance of a victim in sanctifying war; the way that memory is hijacked and distorted; the relationship between love and war.

Moreover, all that Hedges describes about war can also be applied to wars between individuals (i.e. toxic relationships) and even to the conflicts that happen between different parts of our own psyches.

I found this to be a profound book. It enlarged my understanding at a variety of different levels.
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on 8 March 2004
A writer to keep track of, he has good ideas and analyses, but this book is mainly a way for him to work things through, and since he hasn't finished working them through yet there are no actual conclusions drawn.
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on 14 October 2014
very good
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on 1 September 2014
It had underlined passages! I don't like that.
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